How do you know when to sit down after communion?


After communion everyone is kneeling. We usually kneel until the priest is done cleaning and repackaging (sorry I don’t know the correct terminology) the communion chalice & plate, etc. and sits down. When he sits down we sit down. Recently a deacon has been assisting (sorry again if I’m using the wrong words) Father with mass. After communion is distributed Father sits down while the deacon stands behind the altar and cleans everything. There is confusion amongst our congregation as to when we sit down. Lots of people are looking at each other and following the lead of those around them. Some sit when Father sits others stay kneeling until the deacon is done. It’s just an extra 2-3 minutes of kneeling. I don’t mind. It just has me wondering what the proper protocol on this is.


You remain kneeling until the tabernacle is closed, or until you are done with your prayers, whichever is later. That’s the rule I grew up with.

If there is only one priest, he may complete the purification before putting the remaining hosts back into the tabernacle, but I more normally see it done the other way.

We always have several priests helping with communion, so usually one has consolidated the remaining hosts and puts them back in the tabernacle while another priest (or the deacon) does the purification. The presiding priest may not do any of those things, but go sit down until the hosts are reposed and the tabernacle is closed, when he’ll stand and kneel.


The most recent direction is to sit or kneel for the time of personal prayer at the Communicants discretion. This is one part of Mass where the instruction specifically mentions that there are a variety of postures that can be freely chosen. So, there is no need to have a “uniform” posture of everyone at Mass.

I have also found that it varies quite a bit from locale to locale.

“When he sits down we sit down.”

This is basically what we do at my parish. Except that he doesn’t always sit down. :wink:

Either way that you describe would be fine. If it were me, I would sit when Father sits as long as the tabernacle is already closed.

It doesn’t matter if the purifications are still going on since the rubrics even allow for them to be done after Mass is over.


I follow your practice of kneeling till the tabernacle is closed or the priest sits—if I can. I’m 60 and sometimes my knees hurt.

Our previous parish tells people when they may be seated. I don’t care for that. I can be reverent without being told.


If I am done with my prayers I will sit when the Sacrament has been returned to the Tabernacle.


We all sit together after the priest sits for his reflection time.


When Tabernacle is closed.



One is free…

My Mother in law and most everyone there kneels.

My wife and I* sit *right after Holy Communion --better for my prayer.


Thanks to everyone! :heart: I am learning so much!


I just try to remember what I am kneeling for…not for the music ( we have been in parishes where everyone sits as soon as the choir is done), not for the priest, not because I am praying right now, but because Jesus is physically present on the altar.


Yes. I was taught that we kneel as long as the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. Once it has been reserved, we sit.

God Bless


Such would be one option.

One may sit right after Holy Communion.


There is a lady at our parish who cannot kneel, so she sits throughout after having distributed the Blood of Christ (She’s a E.M.) and so while our priest is sitting, and the rest of us are kneeling, she sits, as do others in the congregation who cannot kneel, and then when he says ‘Let us pray’ we all stand for the conclusion of Mass.


I find it also has to do with what the person immediately in front of me and the one behind me are doing. It is difficult to kneel, or remain kneeling if the person in front of me is sitting - somehow having my nose inches from their back is not great. Likewise, if the person behind is kneeling, then sitting becomes awkward, unless I want to have their nose inches from my back. A sort of lean, kneeling against the pew is often the best compromise.


I attend Mass in a Benedictine monastery; in the Benedictine tradition the tabernacle is not visible, it is in a side chapel.

We take our cue from the community. After the schola finishes the last repetition of the communion antiphon, the abbot sits down and the community follows. The schola adds as many psalm verses as needed until everyone has received.


Or one may remain standing. All three postures are allowed.


I notice a lot choose to stand outside the pew area. Unfortunately many just leave the Church right after receiving.


Yes of course but that one is less likely unless one is say in the back of the Church etc :wink:


I sit and yes if necessary I “lean” a bit until the person knelling sits. Or I slide over where they are not…or at times kneel -though I find sitting better for me.


Since kneeling is not required, this is an individual preference, like whether to kneel before Mass, when and how long. My own preference is to kneel until both the tabernacle is closed (usually the first thing) and the vessels are purified (which occurs later).

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